Samantha Toy is a mum, a certified sensitive sleep consultant and primary school teacher, with a passion for helping families achieve sleep success. Following a postnatal depression and anxiety diagnosis in 2020, she embarked on a journey to empower herself with the complete knowledge, understanding and skills to help create sustainable, positive sleep habits, whilst supporting and responding to her baby. Wanting to support fellow mums with the support and service she had so desperately desired, she launched Sound Sleep to guide families through their sleep challenges. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind her business, how she balances work and family life, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I had my first son in 2020, living in a state with the most lockdowns in the world! I spent my lockdown teaching from home, watching every available free webinar and reading every baby book I could find to make sure I was prepared to have my baby.
Being a primary school teacher for 11 years, I was so used to being in control but gosh babies are so unpredictable! I really struggled through those first months. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and anxiety when my son was 10 weeks old, which got so much better with help and support but the sleep deprivation continued.
We enlisted the help of a private sleep consultant – things got marginally better, but I was so disappointed in the service I received. So I decided to just empower myself with the knowledge to help my son and myself achieve better sleep.
Initially, I didn’t have any intention to start my own business, I just wanted to help myself. But after working with volunteer clients as part of my certification, I wanted to provide mums with the support and service that I wanted when I sought out help from a sleep consultant. This is how Sound Sleep was born.
Worrying about everything, sleepless nights, feeling overwhelmed, having severe anxiety around my baby’s sleep: I’ve been there. I can empathise, sympathise and support other mum’s through these same challenges.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
With 11 years of experience as a teacher, it is my job to help and support others, and it is something that comes naturally to me. I started by just providing help and support to mums in my mother’s group through our group chat. These mums then began sharing my details with their friends and family who also needed sleep support for their children.
Along with my knowledge and experience of teaching, and my own personal experience of making it through challenging sleep deprivation, I provide families with the knowledge, support and confidence to tackle their child’s sleep long into the future.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Every baby is unique. There are many many sleep consultants out there, but many of them provide the same one-size-fits-all approach for all families. Through my studies and experience, I discovered a lot about my own child that I didn’t even know about! My child is a highly sensitive “Orchid” child. Our baby’s temperament plays a HUGE role in everything they do, but especially in how they handle sleep – specifically changes to their sleep.
Understanding temperament and helping parents to unpack and understand their child’s temperament has been the biggest breakthrough for Sound Sleep. This means that I can really tailor the advice and support I give to each individual child and family.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Sound Sleep is still growing and I teach 2 days a week. Sometimes it’s a real juggle. I definitely don’t think I’ve found the right balance just yet. My son is 2.5 years old now. Anyone with a toddler knows it’s near impossible to work from home with a toddler around. A lot of my work is done in the morning before my partner goes to work, during my son’s nap or once he’s in bed at night. It can make for some late nights, but I truly love helping and supporting families, so it really doesn’t feel like work at all.